January is drawing closer and the majority have one thing on their mind, “New Year New Me”. This is the time of the year you set yourself up to make a big change whether its fitness or other aspects in your life. Now is the time you want to change/improve. But the problem is every year you shoot yourself in the foot before even starting, before you know it you’ve given up, not even reaching a fraction of your goals. So here are some tips on how to make this the last year you have to say those dreaded words.
Change one thing only at a time -
This is where everyone goes wrong, they want big changes and they want them fast. Aiming for too many changes is the fastest way to fail and see no change. You need to aim small and not big, we are habitual creatures and struggle with change. Changing too much at once is too hard and too alien for us to keep up for any length of time. Changing anything takes will power and time to see any long term effect. When you try changing five things at once it’s no wonder you give up before the end of February. This year try setting small goals and changing one thing at a time. Lets take weight loss for instance, say you currently don't workout and your diet is poor, which sounds easier to stick to option A or option B?
A. You focus on exercising three to four days a week only (three weights sessions one cardio session) and you remove one snack from your diet. Six to eight weeks down the line you improve your diet further.
B. You go to the gym five days a week, you cut out all processed foods and carbs from your diet (making you miserable cause you love carbs), you enter yourself into long distance races throughout the year (even though you don’t like running but heard it’s good for fat loss) and perform fasted cardio every morning followed by a expensive "good health" shake.
Which can you see yourself sticking to for longer?
It’s obviously answer A), this is a much more sustainable plan compared to option B) yet everyone chooses option B) every year, then complain losing weight is too hard.
Break your goals down -
Having a huge goal staring you in the face can be scary and overwhelming. Setting a goal such as losing 3 stone/19.051kg/42lbs will become overwhelming and sometimes disheartening, even when you get closer to your goal you still feel miles away. However lets just say you want to lose 2lbs per week, a small and very achievable goal which will take roughly twenty-one weeks to achieve. A much less daunting and more realistic goal. Maybe your goal is to read more, setting a goal like you want to read twenty-six books a year. This sounds like a huge challenge and an unrealistic amount. But you’d only need to read one chapter five days per week to achieve this (average books has ten chapters). By breaking your goals down into bite size chunks you prevent overwhelming yourself, keeping yourself on track throughout the year.
Write down your plan of action -
Writing things down is a great tool to use when it comes to achieving your goals. The more you write down the greater chance you have at succeeding and reaching your goals. Again lets use an example to who you think is more likely to achieve their goals.
Person A) writes down they want to lose 2 stone/12.701kg/28lbs and wants to exercise three times per week.
Person B) writes down they want to lose 2 stone/12.701kg/28lbs, aiming for 2lbs per week, which will take fourteen to twenty weeks (leaving room for weeks where weight loss isn’t as fast). They are going to train three times per week on a Monday 17:30 (push workout), Wednesday 17:30 (lower body workout) and Friday 7:00 (pull workout). They have also written down their “trigger foods” (foods that once you open you cant stop eating) which are chocolate biscuits. They write down healthier alternatives to buy that wont trigger them into a eating frenzy, such as: individual chunks of dark chocolate, a chocolate protein shake or chocolate rice cakes.
Person B) has a greater chance of succeeding they planned how long their goal should roughly take, what days they will train, what time and what workout. They have also written down what prevents them from reaching their goal and how they will tackle the issue. This leaves minimal room for error or for going off track.
By following these three steps you stand a much greater chance of sticking to your New Years resolutions for good and not falling off track having to make the same ones next year. If you are serious about making a change this year then this is the best place to start.
Bonus Tip -
Chose something you enjoy, if you goal is to lose body fat this new year don’t cut out carbs if you love them, don’t run if you don’t enjoy it. Too many people make themselves miserable this time of year in order to try and be happy, it doesn’t work. Find a way you enjoy and can stick to for life. This further reduces the chances of you quitting.
If you enjoyed and found this article helpful please use the social media icons below to share it.
Thanks for reading :)